Pakistan

There is no organized presence of Daesh in Pakistan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson

ISLAMABAD: Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs categorically denied the organised presence of militant group Daesh in Pakistan, a day after DG-IB Aftab Sultan warned of growing threat of the banned outfit in Pakistan.

Attending a press briefing, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan said there was no organised presence of the banned militant outfit Daesh in the country. In response to a question about DG-IB Aftab Sultan’s statement yesterday about the growing threat of Daesh in Pakistan, the spokesperson denied it and said:-

“Let me reiterate that there is no organized presence of Daesh in Pakistan. I have seen the reports you are referring to and I would request you to approach Ministry of Interior for further details.”

DG-IB Aftab Sultan had yesterday in his briefing to the standing committee for interior, had said that hundreds of people had left Pakistan to fight in Syria. He had also said that a network of Daesh had been captured in Pakistan, adding that the terrorist group also works in coordination with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In response to another question regarding the Pathankot incident, the spokesperson said that he wasn’t aware of any conclusion of the investigation but revealed that both sides were in contact on every matter. He also said both India and Pakistan were in contacts to set a date regarding the Foreign Secretaries’ meeting.

Below is the whole text of the press briefing.

The Floor is open for Questions

Question

Foreign Office has been repeatedly saying that there is no footprint of Daesh in Pakistan. However, yesterday the Chief of Intelligence Bureau said that there is an emerging threat of Daesh in the country. Your comments.

Answer

 Let me reiterate that there is no organized presence of Daesh in Pakistan. I have seen the reports you are referring to and I would request you to approach Ministry of Interior for further details.

 Question

I welcome you to this position on behalf of all correspondents here. I wish you the best of luck on this rostrum. There were some media reports that the Pakistan team investigating the Pathankot incident had finalized its report. Can you confirm? Have any details been shared with India? A Pakistan investigation team was also going to visit India in this regard. Any update on that?     (Mateen Haider – Dawn News)

 Answer

I do not have information about the conclusion of the investigation. However, both sides remain in contact with each other on all matters related to bilateral issues. If there is any update, I will share it with you.

Question

Pakistan had sought information from India regarding the Pathankot investigations. Have we received any response in this regard?

 The Foreign Secretary level talks are constantly being delayed. You had mentioned that both the countries are in constant contact with each other.  Has Pakistan   asked the Indian side the reasons for the delay?

Answer

Regarding your first question, kindly contact the Ministry of Interior for details.

As to the Foreign Secretary level talks, both sides understand that dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries. Both sides are in contact to finalize the dates for the Foreign Secretary level talks.

Question

Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that some members of the 34 member coalition will participate in the military exercises and a group of Pakistan’s Special Services Group (SSG) has been dispatched there in this regard. Your comments.  (Jamal Ismail – Alhayat Newspaper London)

 

Answer

I may mention that Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and extremism. It is in this context that we have welcomed the coalition against terrorism. Details will be worked out at the Experts’ level.

 Question

There were some expectations after the third round of the Quadrilateral Coordination Meeting on 06 February 2016 that some talks between Taliban and the Afghan Government would take place by the end of this month. Your comments.

 Answer

The third meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group adopted a roadmap stipulating the stages and steps in the reconciliation process. The roadmap outlines a step-by-step approach for the peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and is aimed at facilitating direct talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban groups.

All the four countries of the Quadrilateral Group are making efforts in this regard and these efforts will be reviewed at the fourth round on 23 February 2016.

Question

Is the recently signed LNG agreement in Qatar a result of American pressure on the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline forcing Pakistan to sign this Agreement as an alternate source of energy?

Answer

You are well aware of the extent of energy shortfall in Pakistan. Pakistan, like other countries cannot depend on any single source for its energy needs.  Therefore, Pakistan is working on various sources of energy supplies to overcome the acute shortage.

For further details, kindly contact the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

Question

There are reports that the passport of former Sindh Minister Sharjeel Memon is being cancelled.  Can you confirm this? (Saad Umar – Weekly Pakistani)

 Answer

I will not comment on media reports. I will also suggest you to consult the Ministry of Interior, which deals with such issues.

Question

Keeping in view a principle of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy that we endeavor to have brotherly relations with all Muslim countries without taking sides, there are reports that the Saudi Arabia led 34 member coalition is sending troops into Syria. Is Pakistan going to provide logistic/military assistance in this regard?

 Answer

I have already replied to parts of your question. Let me reiterate that Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and extremism. It is in this context that we have welcomed the coalition against terrorism. Details will be worked out at the Experts’ level.

Question

In compliance to the Supreme Court’s decision, CDA has written a letter to the Ministry of Interior to remove Embassies/Missions from residential areas of Islamabad. Your comments.

Answer

CDA has directly approached owners of properties, which have been rented to the Embassies. MoFA has been approached by the Foreign Missions that they have been asked by their owners to revert their properties to residential use. CDA has confirmed sending letters to owners and has requested Ministry for support and facilitation.

Question

It has been reiterated in the past few weeks that Pakistan and India have been in contact at the highest level. May I know what is being discussed between the two countries? And what are the problems due to which the two countries are not reaching a conclusion?

Answer

 Let me reiterate that there is a realization on both sides that dialogue must take place. Here I would refer to Indian Foreign Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj’s statement in this regard when she was here for the Heart of Asia Meeting. As to the Foreign Secretary level talks, both sides understand that dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries. Both sides are in contact to finalize the dates for the Foreign Secretary level talks. As to the Foreign Secretary level talks, both sides understand that dialogue is the only way to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries. Both sides are in contact to finalize the dates for the Foreign Secretary level talks.

Question

Pakistan is making efforts at the bilateral as well as the quadrilateral level for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. However, on the Afghan side, the Afghan Government and its intelligence agencies are not on the same page regarding relationship with Pakistan. Similarly, the Taliban are also not monolithic and have various groups. Therefore, hasn’t Pakistan taken an impossible burden upon itself?

Answer

As you are aware, the Quadrilateral Coordination Group consists of Pakistan, USA, China, and Afghanistan. During the 06 February 2016 meeting in Islamabad, all the four countries decided to make combined efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. It would be unrealistic approach to expect from Pakistan solely for progress in this regard. There is total clarity amongst members of the Quadrilateral Group regarding their shared responsibility.

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